Thursday, January 31, 2013

Exciting changes at Sugar and Dots!

I told you all at the end of 2012 that I had a few exciting changes in the works for 2013.
I wanted to put together a post that covers everything so that you don't get all panicky when you see something new here.
Because panicky isn't a cute look.

But this post is long.
So if you need to, just skim through and read all the stuff in bold writing until you see something that attracts your attention, okay?
Good.

First of all, I need your help.
I am looking for two people to become contributors here at Sugar and Dots.
I am looking for a style contributor and a DIY contributor.
I will be placing a button on my sidebar that links to your blog if you are chosen.
For the style contributor, I am looking for:
-someone with an eye for fashion
-photos of yourself wearing the latest trends
-someone who can write their post via Blogger or on Windows Live Writer so that the HTML isn't crazy when I go to post it
-bright, beautiful photos at least 650 pixels wide
-someone who can commit to writing one post per month
For the DIY contributor, I am looking for:
-someone who loves to create
-photos of yourself/your children/your home displaying your latest creations
-someone who can write their post via Blogger or on Windows Live Writer so that the HTML isn't crazy when I go to post it
-bright, beautiful photos at least 650 pixels wide
-someone who can commit to writing one post per month
To apply for either position, please email me with the following info:
Name
Blog Name
3-5 sentences about why you feel you are a good fit
3-5 photos of your best projects- either photos from style posts or photos from DIY posts
You will hear back from me no matter what.
Please apply for Sugar and Dots contributor positions by February 8th.

Second, please welcome Sugar and Dots new recipe contributor!


This is Meghan.
She writes over at Eat.Live.Make. and I get excited every time I see that a new post is up by her.
Go check out her blog to see what I mean.
She will soon be writing here, sharing her gluten-free and (mostly) vegan recipes.

I have been trying to eat healthier, and coming from a home of vegans while growing up, I am all about clean eating.
You have no idea how happy I am to have her as a contributing writer!

Speaking of contributing...

I was asked to be a speaker at ELEVATE BLOG CONFERENCE and I agreed.
This is huge news.
Huge.
Because they asked me last year and I declined.
Because I am a scaredy cat when it comes to public speaking.
But I am going to do it.
Oh yeah, and there are only 40 tickets available, so if you want to see Erin from Living In Yellow, Sarah from Little Penelope Lane, or Ashley from Little Miss Momma speak with me, you should go to THE REGISTRATION PAGE and try to snag a ticket.
Tickets go on sale at 9:00 AM today.
Oh, and bring your phone to the conference so you can record me passing out juuuuust before I start speaking.
Make me famous on YouTube, mmmkay?

Also...

I was asked to be a contributing writer for ERGOBABY.
This is probably the biggest thing to happen for me in my blogging career!
I agreed.
Obviously.
You can click the button below to see my posts.
Wait, no.
They aren't posted yet.
But yeah... they will be there.
And that is huge news.

I blog for Ergobaby


(PS- the model for Ergobaby's above button went to high school with me. Ergobaby sent me the button, and I was all... hey. I know herrrr. Small world, no?)


Now about sponsorships...

I am working with a new blogging agency that will be promoting ads on my sidebar.
They are committed to directing specific traffic to a specific audience.
With new ads comes new traffic.

This blog is growing everyday.
Traffic is wonderful.
On January 1st, I had 2,644 followers.
I have been diligent about seeing what works and what doesn't with sponsorships and writing, and so far, 2013 has been promising for Sugar and Dots.
I am taking notes daily to ensure that things continue to run smoothly.

What does this mean for you?
I can't promise tons of new traffic or new followers to your site, but increasing readership here means that more people are likely to see your ad.
Now is the perfect time to purchase a new sponsorship!
Also, with all the positive feedback via comments and dozens and dozens of emails about
THIS SPONSORSHIP POST, I will be writing a post similar to that one once per month.
I hope that I can include you!
Want a discount?
Sure, why not?!
20% off all ads between now and February 8th with the code HOORAY.
You can purchase a new sponsorship HERE.

And finally...

I organized my PINTEREST ACCOUNT, so if you've noticed that I actually use the thing now, that's why.
Please excuse the obscene amount of pinning I've been doing now that it all makes sense to me.
I will be posting a few of my favorite things here on the blog soon, and I will also be placing a new button on my sidebar that links my very favorite things to it.
No more crazy pins.
No more chaos.
Just rad stuff and where you can find it.
My favorite things will be posted with "In case you missed it..." posts every Saturday.
New stuff to love every week.
Yay!

Are you still here?
Did you read this whole post?
Oh man.
Best blog reader ever; that's what you are!
You earned 5,000 points!*


XO    







*Points mean nothing at all. But you are nice and I like you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Whipped Up Wednesday

Last week...


Love Kate made these adorable POLKADOT JEANS:


Vixen Made showed off this impressive CONSTRUCTION PARTY:


The Vanilla Tulip put together some DUVET CURTAINS:


Sew Much Crafting created this adorable WASHI TAPE CHARGER:


And While Wearing Heels whipped up this fun little HEART STAMP:



Thank you to everyone that linked up!
Be sure to grab a button if you don't have one already!





Please remember that What I Whipped Up Wednesday was created for you to showcase what you've been up to.
There are no limitations to what you can link up.
Crafts, recipes, makeovers, tutorials, projects, heartaches, triumphs... I want you to feel comfortable sharing all of it here.
This is a place to share what you want people to see.
Be proud of your posts.
XO



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My thoughts on the new Vine app.

If you haven't heard yet, Twitter has released a new app called Vine; basically a feed of 6 second videos made on iPhones.
Sedric and I discussed an app like this when Instagram first came out- he came up with an elaborate plan to create a video sharing app, and I thought he was genius.
His version was a lot sweeter and more user-friendly than Vine.
Unfortunately, my husband's version does not exist.

Unlike YouTube, the videos on Vine play automatically.
You scroll through your feed like you would on Facebook or Instagram, and videos begin playing automatically.
This is the first problem I have with the app.
If I want to check my "Activity" section, the app opens to the "Home" page- playing videos without me wanting to see videos.
If I want to see if someone "liked" my video, I might first hear a screaming child before I can even click on the "Activity"tab.
Or worse.

Unlike other photo and video sharing sites/apps, Vine has no age restrictions.
They do not ban nudity or other adult content; including pornography.

While viewing the "Popular Now" page on Vine, I saw a fellow blogger's daughter wrapped sweetly in a blanket in her crib. 
The video ended with a quick view around her nursery.
Followed immediately by a video of a woman...pleasuring herself.
I don't want anyone to be able to Google the awful words associated with the video I saw and end up on my blog, so I will omit the details.
I will tell you that it was disturbing.
I will also tell you that I am super tolerant of lots of things- stuff is just stuff...words are just words... it takes a lot to bother me.
I am bothered by what I saw.

In order to create an account, I logged in with Twitter.
I hadn't read any Terms of Service because they weren't available for me to read until my account was already established.
Only then was I able to read.


Nothing mentioning nudity or sexual content.


Yadda yadda yadda... basically, you're going to see things you may not like.

Want to avoid seeing those things? Read on to find out how:


Say what?
I have to email Vine to cancel my account?
Lame.
Even more lame?
That I emailed them over 24 hours ago to delete my account, and haven't heard from them.
I've blown up their Twitter feed.
I've announced to the world that I didn't like seeing a sweet baby video followed by disturbing porn.
Yet the only people who don't seem concerned are the people behind Vine.

There have been several people that have seen videos like I have.
Warning each other in hopes to keep content like this away from children.
Away from people who don't want to see it.
Yet warnings are getting mocked.
I saw this conversation on Instagram yesterday:


Whatever.
I get it. 
You're an adult using an app made for adults.
Fine.
I'm not judging.
Making light of the situation is fine- your call.
I just know that I saw a disturbing video, and wish to never see that again.

If they figure out how to block adult content, will I stick around?

Well, here's the other stuff:

My videos only uploaded 25% of the time.
I lost an awesome video of Warner and Franky laughing in unison because my video failed to upload.
It didn't save my video to a "drafts" folder.
It didn't go to my camera roll.
It just disappeared.
This happened to six other equally adorable, irreplaceable videos.
That's what I get for recording on a free app I guess.

You also can't control your account at all- anyone can follow you, and as far as I know, leave you endless comments about your video.
I don't need Pedophile McCreepy following me and seeing my content.
I also don't need him commenting on how cute my children are.
Like the Instagram conversation posted above mentioned, this app is full of free porn.
Now try to wrap your head around why you would want your children's adorable videos on an app with that content.
Truly.
 
Does it bother you knowing that creepy strangers are now following you?
Don't go feeling all popular just yet- ask yourself why they are following.
Exactly.
 
How are you overlooking this?
Maybe I'm just traumatized from the two seconds of video that I saw.
I don't know.

So besides the failed uploads, lack of safety controls, and pornography mixed in with videos of children, I guess the app is great.
I just can't overlook those things.
And I would delete my account, but again, I'm waiting for my email to get read by Vine.
Until then, I'm held hostage; hanging helplessly in a vine of videos that I really don't want to see.

I urge you to speak up- let the app creators know that you want filters to protect yourselves from disturbing content.
That you want to control who can see your video.
That you want age restrictions, or better warnings.
That you don't want your videos in the wrong hands.

This app is so new, and I'm already advocating changes.
Please join me before it gets worse.
Speak up.
I know I am.

Just my two cents.
XO

Lemons and Lace giveaway!

 
 My gorgeous friend CARA is modeling this turban headband for you today from 
They are going to give one lucky winner a turban of their choice (adult or baby)!
 
HOW TO ENTER:
(leave a comment for every step you complete)
 
1. Must be a follower of Sugar and Dots via Google Friend Connect.
2. Like Lemons & Lace on FACEBOOK
3. Share this giveaway on FACEBOOK and/or instagram (SugarAndDots)
 
All entries will be verified.
:)


XO

Monday, January 28, 2013

A photo an hour.

One day.
One photo (or more) per hour.
There are lots of blogs that do this, but I never remember on the scheduled date.
So here is a random day.
January 16th, 2013 to be exact.
From 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.


6:00 AM- 29 degrees outside (California was a weather freak show that week.)
Realized the tortoise was left out in the front yard overnight.
Discovered her completely covered in ice on the sidewalk.
Space heater and warm washcloths.
Good morning.

 

The hunt for breakfast.


Morning cuddles.


Random tool left out for the kids to find.


Potty break from cartoons.


Organizing.


Dishes.
Dino.
Normal.


You stay here.
I need to brush my teeth.

 

School pick up.


Blue skies.

 
Out of trash bags.
I'll be sure to buy new jeans, a lipgloss, and five new pillows.


 Legos with Dad.


Homework is done.



Caught in the act of knocking his sisters' doll to the ground.


After they fought about the doll.


Tummy time.


Bath time.

 

Story time.


Bedtime.



XO




Friday, January 25, 2013

Week four.

Since writing THIS POST nearly five weeks ago, 969 photos have been linked up with Project #itshappyhere!
That's 147 more photos since last week!
Tagging photos on Instagram with the above hashtag, you are helping to create a safe and happy place online.
Not all days are happy.
Not all days are full of sunshine.
Or laughter.
Sometimes bad moods can get the best of you.
And sometimes really bad things happen that ruin your day.
Or your week.
Or your lifetime.
#itshappyhere is full of some of the loveliest images I have seen.
Tagged by people willing to share their happiness.
Giving others a sense of hope.
Or a simple smile.

Each Friday I will be featuring a handful of my favorite photos from Project #itshappyhere.
Please join in and tag any photos, new or old, that make you smile.
Sharing a smile can change the world.
Watch and see.
Please visit the people below and be sure to tell them that you found them via #itshappyhere.
 










 
 
Have a wonderful weekend.
XO

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